Envy, the beginnings of jealousy, stifles and stunts our spiritual development. But what is it, and how does it flourish and get such a firm grip?
Most of us live in large urban societies where competition is rife, so we are continually comparing ourselves with others. This can mean that we are never good enough which leaves us with a feeling of inadequacy and inferiority. And we logically resent the success of others.
Envy thrives on a lack of trust and our isolation from others. We are under the illusion that we are separate and that we can beat others by worldly means. And this struggle consumes most of our lives. But how can we be remotely like anyone else when we are unique? This is a clear indication that we are not in touch with either our true nature or our special mission in human life.
The rising of envy makes clear that we have not allowed our own authentic energy to flow, have prevented our true being from blooming, and so we feel empty inside.
Our view is blinkered and we look outwards exclusively so can only see the exterior of others. We can only see the image that others project, and they too are blinkered and do not know their true nature. This is mutual delusion behind masks.
Envy is perhaps the most damaging of negative emotions, but it is completely delusional.
Envy is associated with the colour green because it originally was thought to be produced by an imbalance in the humours – an excess of bile, one of the cardinal digestive juices. Shakespeare adopted this notion most famously in his play ‘Othello’ in which the protagonist of the same name becomes fatally mad from jealousy of his love Desdemona’s relationships with other men.
“O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.” Iago, Othello’s friend, warns the demented Othello that the monster ‘jealousy’ toys with its victims before destroying them.
If you are self-aware such an emotion as envy is impossible. It is a mere trick played by the mind which preys upon those who have turned their back on their spiritual origin and are attached to the visual world.
When we are truly awake we can only delight in the wisdom or greatness of others. We should not even be envious of the achievements of a Buddha, a Christ or any other spiritual leader: we can only marvel at the exquisite fragrance of such a being entering into our view. If such fragrances pervade our existence then our inner beauty will blossom.
Be certain that if jealousy or envy are present it is because there is no true love. These monsters separate and quarantine us from all other beings so we can never reach the object of our longing.
￼ images courtesy of Megapixyl.com